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MINUTES FOR JANUARY 11th 2018

Voting members in attendance: Maryam Zar, Allison Holdorff Polhill, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, David Kaplan, Sue Kohl, Rick Mills, Danielle Samulon, Lou Kamer, Rick Mills, Richard Wulliger, Janet Anderson, Cathy Russell, Gil Dembo, David Card, Reza Akef, Rick Lemmo, Bruce Schwartz

Voting alternates: Leah Cox, Doug McCormick, Richard Blumenberg, Barbara Kohn, Jenny Hope Cote

Non-voting advisors and alternates: Carol Bruch, Brenda Theveny, David Peterson, Matthew Rodman, Steve Boyers

1.    Certification of Quorum.  Chair Maryam Zar called the meeting to order at 7:09 pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Chair read the  Mission Statement.

3.    Introduction of the Board and Audience.  The board and audience were introduced.

4.    Approval of Minutes & Upcoming Meetings.  1) Approval of Minutes: Chair deemed the minutes of November 9, 2017 and December 14, 2017 approved as distributed. 2) Upcoming meetings: January 25, 2018 and February 8, 2018 (topics to be announced).

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  Chair announced that the agenda was as distributed.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Richard Cohen (Treasurer) reported that PPCC has a bank account balance of $40,910.18.  Based upon preliminary data the event has netted about $4,700 which is generally sufficient to cover operation of PPCC for a year.  Richard expressed relief that the wildfires that threatened neighboring areas did not worsen to threaten the Palisades and cause cancellation of the event.  Had that happened PPCC would nonetheless have been obligated to pay almost all of the expenses of the event.  In his view it is therefore necessary to maintain sufficient funds on hand to absorb such a loss and thereafter continue to fund PPCC’s activities for several years.

7.    General Public Comment on local issues.

Sheila Simmons spoke on behalf of Nancy Freedman from Brentwood Community Council in support of Bert Mutto, a formerly homeless man living in Pacific Palisades. Bert helped put together the holiday lights on San Vicente and has full-time employment. Doug McCormick and the Chair spoke on behalf of Burt and indicted that he is a great example of what can be done when we help our neighbors. Burt needs to occupy a small apartment with modest rent in West Los Angeles and a call was made to the community to help him find housing nearby.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair — Deferred.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Chair/President Emeritus).

WRAC-LUPC update; SB 827 (Scott Wiener, 11th District/SF) – proposed state “housing” legislation (sponsored by the YIMBY movement) that would eviscerate local control over planning and land use in locations near so-called transit hubs (overriding height, density and infrastructure considerations or limitations, eliminating R1/single-family zone protections and community plans and preempting the Measure JJJ “Transit-Oriented Communities” ordinance to address affordable housing, enacted by 64% of Los Angeles voters).  See background information. Possible motion next meeting.

Chris reported that LADBS’s Deputy Chief of Enforcement, Frank Lara, spoke at WRAC-LUPC. Due to lack of resources, response times to complaints about Code violations continue to be slow, but Chief Lara emphasized that for swifter response residents should submit complaints online at www.ladbs.org rather than call 3-1-1. Regarding SB 827, Chris stated that it is a dangerous bill, WRAC-LUPC has recommended a motion to oppose, and the board will discuss in full at the next meeting on January 25.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Reps – Deferred.

8.4.   From Organizational Reps.

8.4.1.    David Card (American Legion).  David Card announced the American Legion is holding a HS oratorical contest on February 3rd (first round). HS students prepare speeches focusing on the US Constitution. There are four sub-topics. Deadline to apply is 1.23.18. Information is available on the Legion’s website: ALpost283.com.

8.5.    From Government Offices/Representatives.

8.5.1.    LAPD Sergeant Danny Eun, Captain II Gary William Walters, and Officers Ryan Basaker and Hansen of West Traffic were present.

Officer Basaker introduced Captain Walters as the new West Traffic Division Captain. The officers and Captain gave an update regarding traffic issues and motorcycle activity. They reported that motorcycle riding on Wednesday evenings has slowed down a bit during the winter months. They have cited motorists for infractions and impounded motorcycles for various non-compliance. They have been conducting an educational campaign for residents to understand the limits of enforcement and for riders to comprehend the expectations of the community and the demands of the law. LAPD has limited resources but will continue to monitor and to periodically station officers at the Shell station on Sunset & PCH to deter the activity.

Responding to a question about traffic speed surveys, Sergeant Eun explained that LADOT hires a third party to conduct traffic surveys. They prioritize surveys at high injury areas (high injury network). There is a back up of requests and the contractor will be conducting a traffic survey along Sunset in the future. LAPD abides by the concept of engineering, education and enforcement. The last resort is enforcement. Captain Walters spoke highly of his LAPD team. He stated that West LA is 10% down in traffic collisions. Hollywood and Korea Town have many more traffic collisions.

Regarding enforcement of Cannabis laws, the officers explained that LAPD will use a field sobriety test to enforce driving under the influence of marijuana. Pot is legal but it is not legal to drive under the influence. There are several new traffic laws addressing marijuana usage. They explained that any amount that you ingest causes you to drive impaired. The officers also explained that anyone smoking Cannabis outdoors, in parks, near schools and under the age of 21 is breaking the law. Residents should call LAPD (1-877-ASK-LAPD) if they witness such activity.

Paula Leonhauser (resident) stated that she wanted to thank the West LA Officers for doing a tremendous job taking care of traffic. Nina Madok (resident) and Paula Leonhauser are setting up a 501(c)(3) to collect donations for West LAPD Traffic unit to assist them in the work they do in the Palisades.

8.5.2.    Lisa Cahill, Field Deputy, Councilmember Mike Bonin, CD11.

District Director Debbie Dyner Harris has left Mike Bonin’s office and he is looking for another director. Chris Spitz conveyed that Debbie Dyner Harris has been a tremendous asset to our community and the board, and that she, Maryam, past Chairs and the board all thank her. Lisa stated she would convey the message to Debbie. Lisa announced that the Bruin Research Institute is looking to build near the Getty. She commended PPCC members for all the community beautification projects. Lisa has been receiving much more concern regarding Monte Grigio area trespassing. She is also receiving many development questions. She explained that at the so-called “Top of the World” on Lachman Lane there is ongoing trespassing and smoking.

8.5.4.    Janet Turner, Office of Congressman Ted Lieu.

Janet Turner reported that Ted Lieu is hosting Service Academy Day on February 10, 2018 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the LA Air Force Base Gordon Conference Center, 400 N. Douglas Street, El Segundo, CA 90245. He introduced HR4706 to modernize the music licensing law to assist composers. Congressman Lieu has also received an award from animal rights activist groups.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors – None.

9.    Reports from Committees – None.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    Introduction of new West Traffic Division Captain, traffic and motorcycle gang enforcement update. (See Item 8.5.1.)

11.2.    New City and State Cannabis Regulations – Status of applicable laws; enforcement; impacts on youth and community.

  1. Commercial Cannabis Location Restriction Ordinance (adopted) and Sign Ordinance (proposed). Summaries prepared by Chris Spitz are available at here and here. Chris reiterated the contents of her summaries and stated that the takeaway for the community is that Pacific Palisades is not likely to have commercial Cannabis businesses.
  2. Cat Packer, Executive Director, City Department of Cannabis Regulation. Commercial Cannabis Licensing and Operating Regulations Overview. Cat Packer (appointed Executive Director of the DCR on July 18, 2017) presented that her department is focused on preventing youth from purchasing Cannabis. The mission of the department is to protect community members and to protect consumers by recommending ordinances to regulate business operators. Over the course of the last three years the State of California has been attempting to regulate Cannabis. The CA Dept. of Food and Agriculture will regulate cultivation of marijuana and the Dept. of Health will regulate manufacturing. Products will be labeled to determine how much THC is within the product. There will be specific limits on dosage. Regulations are about medical and adult use. LA City created the Dept. of Cannabis Regulation. A five-member commission has been established to provide guidance regarding regulations. The Dept. has started to authorize Cannabis businesses. Businesses will receive temporary approval. Licensing will happen in three phases. Existing medical marijuana dispensaries (approximately 200) will receive a priority. The allowed density is one retail facility per 10,000 residents and one manufacturing facility per 7,500 residents. The Dept. of Cannabis regulation will enforce these limits. Businesses must pay taxes. The Dept.’s emphasis is on Health, Education, Regulation and Enforcement (‘HERE’). Ms. Packer emphasized that education regarding Cannabis is imperative.   There must be a strong enforcement effort from LAPD and City Attorneys.
  3. City and State Regulation/Enforcement; Recreational Use Laws; Impacts on Youth and Community. Neighborhood Prosecutor Veronica de la Cruz-Robles reported that Cannabis use is illegal for individuals under 21. Individuals are allowed up to one ounce for personal use; eight grams of concentrated Cannabis; and up to six plants and their harvest. Cannabis cannot be used publicly. (See also Item 8.5.1 for additional remarks on enforcement by LAPD officers in attendance.

    12.    Adjournment.  Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:59 pm.

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